Healthy Drinks

Honeydew Water Is the Super Hydrating, Low Acid Alternative to Lemon Water That Gut Health Experts Love

Photo: Stocksy/Gabriel (Gabi) Bucataru
We’re always looking for new ways to zhush up our water intake, whether that’s with herbs, fruits, or spices. While we love to start our days with lemon water as much as the next hydration enthusiast, it may not be the best beverage of choice for everyone.

Megan Rossi, PhD, RD, APD, a gut health expert and author of the upcoming book, How to Eat More Plants, says that lemon water doesn’t pose any negative health outcomes for most people, but you may want to avoid drinking it if you have acid reflux or other related issues. She also notes that, due to the high-acid content, it may not be the best for your teeth. Those looking for a lower-acid pick may want to try water made with one of our favorite seasonal fruits: honeydew, for a refreshing take that is less likely to upset sensitive stomachs.

How to make honeydew water

You can make honeydew water several different ways, and they're all completely effortless to execute. Our personal favorite for hot summer days, however, is freezing chopped honeydew overnight and dropping the frozen melon cubes into a glass of water—so refreshing (and it leaves you with a little nosh once you’ve hydrated).

You can also take the juice from a honeydew melon and combine it with a glass of water to create a sweet start to your day, or simply infuse a glass of water with some fresh balls or slices of melon. Seriously: When enjoyed in season, honeydew is *so* rich in sweet, fresh flavor and major nutrients that make it a delicious addition to any summer meal or activity.

Health benefits of honeydew water

Kirsten Jackson, RD, gut health dietitian and owner of The Food Treatment Clinic, says that honeydew contains a host of nutrients, such as vitamin C (more than 50 percent of your daily needs per serving) and potassium (more than 10 percent of your daily baseline), but you’d of course have to drink a lot of honeydew water to reap these benefits—unless, that is, you're always eating the fruit after you sip. Rossi also notes that honeydew is a good source of calcium and is full of phytochemicals (but so are many other fruits and vegetables, so feel free to experiment with various melons or in-season fruits to find the right water addition for you).

That being said, honeydew is a nutrient-packed option that can support proper hydration, achieve radiant skin, and help build a healthy heart—all benefits of drinking plenty of water and consuming anti-inflammatory foods, like melon. Kylie Ivanir, MS, RD of Within Nutrition says that the fruit is also high in electrolyte content, so it’s a great snack to enjoy before or after a workout.

And as an aside, unless it irritates your stomach, all the health experts say that there's nothing wrong with drinking acidic beverages like lemon water. "After all, lemon has no sugar and is high in vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant," says Ivanir. TL; DR? Either can be a great option so long as you don’t treat these beverages as cure-alls for any health issues and instead enjoy them for the flavor, hydration, and possible nutrient boost they can bring.

As always, your best bet to reap the full benefits from a fruit like honeydew is by using it whole in recipes, like this mouth-watering cucumber, honeydew, and feta salad or this mint honeydew smoothie that also feature other nourishing, hydrating ingredients to cool you off during those dog days of summer.

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